Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review in Photos

It's been a good busy week. Here are some pictures of our work and play together - schoolwork, games, cooking, housework and just plain fun.

How was your week? I'd love to read about it in the comments.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Want to Plant My Garden!

The holidays are over and the new year has begun and as usually happens this time of year my fingers are itching to plant something. But January really isn't a good month for planting much of anything - at least not here in Virginia. So instead I look at seeds and gardening tools and beautiful pictures of other people's gardens. And I read about gardens and all things related.

I thought since I have this obsession I may as well share it so here are some of the things I've been looking at, reading about and dreaming of.


Seeds, seeds and more seeds! There are so many things I want to plant this year that I'm not sure where we'll find room for all of it. The last two years we increased our garden space and it looks like this year we'll have to increase it again.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Stalker Fish, Traveling Chickens and Happy Rabbits

My Betas make me laugh every morning when I find them staring at me waiting for their food. I call them my stalker fish because they seem to watch my every move until they get fed.

I'm trying to decide what to do with the chicken run. We've been letting the chickens free range but they are starting to expand their territory. Two of them have discovered the dogs across the road will share his food with them. So I need to keep them in more. And if I do that I who like to expand the size of the run.   I'll still let them free range a few hours a day but not all day like they have been. I've noticed in the past that they don't go as far if their free time is limited. I caught one coming back home this morning. 

Our rabbits are doing well. The litter of six born in September are almost as big as their mother now. They all seem to get along great live happily in their little home. Austin brought one in this morning for us to see.

THURSDAY - HomeAcre Hop

Friday, January 23, 2015

Keeping It Real - Oops!

This is what happens when I walk away from the oven on broil for a "minute" and then forget to come back. As it turned out they actually tasted better than they looked and we ate them anyway. Couldn't waste that bacon!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Banana Cookies

Almost every week I buy lots of bananas. Some weeks the kids eat them all up in the first few days and other weeks they just sit on the shelf until they start to turn brown. This was a sit on the shelf and turn brown week so I ended up with a lot of bananas to find ways to use. So I made a batch of these banana cookies for the kid to eat for snacks. Here's the recipe

Banana Cookies

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C)

Cream butter, add brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs, vanilla and bananas, beating well.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons full on top greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool.

*I replaced 1/2 cup of white flour with wheat flour.

I also used a bunch of bananas in this Banana Berry Bread.

A few other good things from the kitchen recently were Veggie Tuna Noodle Casserole, Homemade Bread, and Cheese Pizza.


12+ Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Priorities and Making the Most of Five Minutes

Since I've just begun my new posting schedule I really don't have a good post full of projects accomplished ready to share today. So I thought I'd share a few tips I use to help keep things running smoothly.

The first one is something I began using years ago when things were even crazier than they are now. The main reason it was chaotic was the number of small kids I had to care for. In order to keep my head above water I HAD to prioritize. So this is the mental priority list I would repeat in my head all day long

1. God
2. Kids
3. Food for the Kids
4. Clean Clothes for the Kids
5. Everything Else

It was simple but for me, in that season it worked. It gave me a mental guideline I desperately needed.

My other go to tip was to always make the most of five minutes. If there was 5 minutes of time between activities I would make a game of seeing what I could get done - sweep a floor, wash a window, make a phone call - anything to chip away at the never ending to do list. And it's amazing how fast those little five minutes add up. During the years when Michael did not seem to ever sleep at night sometimes the most important thing I could
do was simply close my eyes for five minutes (while keeping my ears open). But even that was so helpful and five minutes well invested.

Also, today I have a few helpful links to share from my reading around the web. 

Monthly Budget Printable

What's So Great About "Homemaking"?

Please don't feed the dust bunnies. - Author Unknown

WEDNESDAY - Wake Up Wednesday

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Changes - Exciting New Posting Schedule

I'm enjoying writing here again and am looking forward to much more writing in the future. While I've enjoyed writing in the Walnut Acre Daily Format I've also begun to feel like I'm doing a lot of repeating myself on a daily basis. We have some fairly entrenched routines and they are important to us. These routines lived daily provide a framework for our days that keep things running smoothly and allow growth and progress, although sometimes that growth and progress is incremental. And incremental doesn't always translate well into daily posts. So what I'm going to try instead is posting on a different theme each day. I've looked at the important themes and interests in our lives and assigned a theme to each day of the week. There will also be some other topics that will pop up semi-regularly and maybe some What's On My Mind Now types of posts that I will write when I feel the urge to say something that doesn't fit in any of the categories I've created. Here is a brief look at what I'm planning.

Sunday - Journeys
This day is where I'll share some of my spiritual journeys - things I'm learning, walking through and thinking about. It may be notes from Sunday School, the Sunday sermon, from our Bible readings here at home, Friday night Bible Study, or some combination of them. Or maybe even from some other source entirely. Journeys often take unexpected turns so who knows where we'll end up.

Monday - Furry, Feathered and Four Footed Friends (And Two Fish)
I enjoy our animals and I think you will too. These posts will look at the fun we have with our animals, the things we learn while raising them, and the adventures we have as we grow our little one acre farm.

Tuesday - Plants and garden
We also enjoy planting and growing a variety of plants - both edible and ornamental. Here's where I'll share what we're planting, growing, and harvesting - and leading in the process. 

Wednesday - Household Projects
I have some pretty significant redecorating and organizing projects planned for this year and I'll share our progress here. I'm also in the process of fine tuning my home management notebook and will include resources and printables for that here as well.

Thursday - In the Kitchen
On Thursday's I'll show some of what we've been up to in the kitchen -  baking, cooking, canning, freezing - all that fun stuff. And a lot of the time I have some pretty cute little helpers joining in the fun. 

Friday - Homeschool Wrap-Up
We homeschool and love it. While most of life involves learning this category will show some of what is traditionally thought of as schoolwork - worksheets and workbooks, flashcards, lots of books that we read, lots of games we use to learn, and other activities that fit here. I'll try to provide links to free resources as well as links where some of the resources we use can be purchased.

Saturday - Out and About
Saturdays I plan to highlight some of the fun places we've been. I'm also hoping to showcase some of awesome local businesses we have in our area and the people behind them. I'm looking forward to this new direction for this little spot on the web.

 I'm also planning to post book reviews as I finish reading books. When I write a post for a this blog I generally try to choose pictures that are pretty and present things in a positive way. However that can leave a totally false impression that everything is always sunshine and roses. But we have our share of not so wonderful moments too so occasionally I will share a Keeping it Real post to show some our messes and mishaps.

I hope this new posting schedule will be enjoyable for you, my reader, provide encouragement, resources, eduation and entertainment.

WEDNESDAY - Wake Up Wednesday